If he’s not finishing a 5k run or posted up at home for a UVA Cavaliers game, you’ll probably find our Fun Laid-Back Dad on the Street at Chipotle re-fueling on some cheese quesadillas.
Jay is a North Carolina native, but for most of the last 20 years, he’s made his home in Virginia. He’s worked in various ministry positions throughout his career including Young Life, the Center for Christian Study at UVA, and is currently directing the Virginia Beach Fellows program. He is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. Jay and his wife Holly have three children— Joel, Afton, and Brooks, who each love living near the beach and playing endless games of UNO. In his free time, Jay enjoys running, watching sports (Go Vols and Hoos), listening to Bruce Springsteen, and reading theology and history.
Fun Laid-Back Style
Which three words best describe your style? Fun, faithful, and bookish.
What are your favorite places to work out? The Great Neck Recreational Center and Lynnhaven Park
Who’s your favorite fitness icon? Ryan Hall, of course.
What’s your best fitness advice? Alternate pretty comfortable workouts with really challenging ones.
What trend did you love at the time, but now cringe when you see old photos? Cargo shorts…
What’s your dad superpower? Getting my kids to laugh just by laughing myself. Works every time.
Facial hair or clean-shaven? Clean-shaven… or I’m at risk for the dirty stache.
Fun Laid-Back Family
What’s your favorite way to spend time with your family? Doing something active together – going to the beach or the pool is always a safe bet.
What’s been your best family vacation? We took a road trip across the US last summer with stops in North Carolina, Tennessee (go Vols), Arkansas, Texas (we kept Austin weird), New Mexico, Arizona (Grand Canyon and Bearizona), Palm Desert California (it was 118 degrees) and ended up in LA with a trip to Disneyland. It was epic. Maybe the best decision of all– we flew back. By the end, we were ready for a break from the road.
What’s your favorite family activity? I’m a big fan of going to the Norfolk zoo. It’s active and all our kids love it… and the sun bear is always worth the trip.
Best parenting advice: Don’t sweat the small stuff. If it’s not a top priority, it’s not a hill worth dying on.
Parenting true confession: I feed our kids Ramen Noodles a lot when Holly’s working.
What’s your go-to family dinner? Beef tacos, cheese quesadillas, and homemade salsa.
What’s your favorite family restaurant? Chipotle or the closest Mexican restaurant!
Fun Laid-Back Lifestyle
What’s your favorite show to binge-watch? “This is Us” and “Veronica Mars” are our go-to shows.
If you could pick anyone to star as you in a movie based on your life, who would it be? Easy. Shia LaBeouf.
What’s your favorite sport and why? I’m a big fan of watching college basketball (go ‘Hoos). I love that it’s normally two hours or less. But if I’m going to play a sport, then golf– I seem to injure myself playing any other sport.
What’s your favorite workout song? “With One Word” by Shane and Shane.
If you could hang out with anyone from history, living or deceased, who would it be? The disciple John.
What’s at the top of your travel bucket list? Israel. I had a trip planned a few years ago but had to cancel because of safety issues. I really want to get there in the next 5 years.
What’s your favorite way to unwind at the end of a long day? Reading to our kids at their bedtime. As long as they are happily listening! If they’re not, then I’d rather be reading a novel.
Your Fun Laid-Back Life
Jay might be an easygoing and laid-back guy, but that doesn’t stop him from living life to the fullest. He puts his family first, and that’s something worth admiring. I could tell you how weird he is, or that he prefers the spicy-southwest salad over the nugs from Chick-Fil-A, and that he wears v-neck undershirts most of the time (might as well just grow the ‘stache, Jay), but what tops everything is his loyalty to his friends, family, and peers. He just might be the world’s best family man.